Little fireworks in the prairie…

Puple flowers

Rough Blazing-star (left), Cylindrical Blazing-star (right)

purple flower

Cylindrical Blazing-star

Well, it must be August in the Prairie because the blazing-star have started flowering. We once thought the two flowers shown above were the same species, just taller or shorter depending on where it was growing. The shorter plants growing on the remnant, while the taller plants grow elsewhere. We recently learned that we have two different species. Rough blazing-star (Liatris aspera) is the taller of the two, has many flowers on a stalk and is fairly common. The shorter of the two is cylindrical blazing-star (Liatris cylindracea ) and is infrequent. Cylindrical blazing-star is most commonly found on dry prairies and likes limey soils.

On a side note the vegetable garden seems to be coming in a little ahead of schedule for us this year. I suspect the warm weather has been playing a role. Not only is there a pumpkin that has already turned orange (photo from a previous post), we got our first watermelon! Also, tomatoes are starting to ripen… this is a little early for us. We have been enjoying zucchini, green and yellow beans already this summer… and of course we had a lot of asparagus to enjoy this spring.

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